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Energy and Climate Change

Air Pollution

Graham Stringer: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change with reference to paragraph 4.6.14 of the UK Renewable Energy Strategy consultation document, what recent assessment he has made of the potential cumulative effect on air quality of fine particles and nitrogen dioxide emissions from the future large-scale deployment of biomass appliances or plant. [264735]

Huw Irranca-Davies: I have been asked to reply.

DEFRA analysed six different scenarios. These assessed the impacts of the level of final uptake of biomass heat in 2020, the fuels likely to be replaced, and the locations in which biomass heat likely to be used. The analysis focused on the small industrial/commercial, public and domestic sectors. It should be noted that all large combustion plant (above 20MWth) and those burning waste material are already subject to strict emission limits and are therefore not likely to have a significant
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adverse impact on air quality. Replacement of coal for power generation may have a beneficial effect on air quality.

The six scenarios analysed were:

These scenarios were modelled on a national basis and compared with a ‘business as usual’ scenario, to assess the additional impact of biomass heat uptake. It was found that the impact on concentrations of nitrogen dioxide was negligible on a national basis. The impacts on concentrations of fine particles (PM10) were assessed for additional lengths of road exceeding the mandatory air quality limit values for PM10 and the costs to society of additional health impacts. The results of this analysis are presented in the following table.

Unit emission levels Final uptake level in 2020 Fuel and location bias? Additional Km of roads exceeding PM 10 limit value in 2020 Annu al social (health) cost in 2020 (£ million)

Medium -equates to average performance of current plant

52 TWh

No

577

2,803

50 TWh

Yes

20

732

38 TWh

Yes

9

557

High-equates to top end performance of current plant

52 TWh

No

138

731

50 TWh

Yes

3

189

38 TWh

Yes

2.5

142


DEFRA has made no direct assessment of the changes in incidence of lung and cardiovascular diseases. However, my Department has analysed the air quality impact of biomass heat uptake in accordance with the assumptions made in the Renewable Energy Strategy consultation document. These impacts have then been monetised, using advice from the Department of Health on the health effects of particles and economic methodologies agreed by the Interdepartmental Group on Costs and Benefits.

Carbon Emissions

Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what recent estimate he has made of the contribution of low-carbon industries to the (a) UK and (b) EU economy; and what assessment he has made of likely changes in the level of that contribution in the next 10 years. [265869]

Joan Ruddock: The Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform has recently (6 March 2009) published a report by Innovas Solutions Ltd., titled “Low Carbon and Environmental Goods and Services: an industry analysis”. The full report is available at:

This report estimated that the size of the ‘low carbon and environmental goods and services sector’ in the UK in 2007-08 was £107 billion, representing around 7 per cent. of UK economy.

The market value of this sector is forecast to grow to £154.85 billion in 2014-15. This represents an increase (in real terms) of 45 per cent. of the total market value by 2015. No forecast of growth beyond 2015 has been made.

The market for the ‘low carbon and environmental goods and services sector’ in Europe in 2007-08 is estimated to be £829 billion. This figure represents Innovas’ definition of Europe according to their regional
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grouping of countries, and is not limited to the EU economy. No comparable estimates have been made for the EU economy, or for the growth rates of the European low carbon and environmental goods and services sector.

Departmental Buildings

Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how much was spent by his Department on (a) furniture and (b) renovation and decoration for departmental buildings since its establishment. [265406]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: The Department for Energy and Climate Change was established on 3 October 2008. The Department is currently moving to a single office building. By the end of the present financial year, the Department is expected to spend a total of (a) £301,626 on furniture and (b) £1,117,500 on renovation and decoration. Nothing has been spent by agencies.

All figures are exclusive of VAT.

Departmental Empty Property

Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what estimate he has made of the change in the annual cost to his Department of maintaining the empty public buildings owned by his Department and its predecessor as a result of the April 2008 changes to empty property rate relief. [267072]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: The Department of Energy and Climate Change does not yet own any buildings.

Departmental Information Officers

Greg Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what the average cost to his Department of employing a press and media officer is. [256060]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: The average cost of employing a press officer in the Department of Energy and Climate Change is £39,869 per annum (salary plus national insurance and superannuation).

Departmental NDPBs

Greg Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change with reference to the Answer of 4 November 2008, Official Report, columns 453-4W, on the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, by what date he expects the discussions on the role of the bodies referred to to be completed. [255938]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, Office of Nuclear Development, Sustainable Development Commission and Office of Climate Change all have a clear role to play in DECC achieving its objectives for energy and climate change.

The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority is a non-departmental public body set up under the Energy Act 2004 to ensure that the UK’s civil public nuclear legacy sites are decommissioned and cleaned up efficiently and effectively.


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The Office for Nuclear Development was created to facilitate new nuclear investment in the UK. Its aims are to enable operators to build and operate new nuclear power stations in the UK from the earliest possible date and to enable new nuclear to make the fullest contribution it is capable of, with no public subsidy, and with unnecessary obstacles removed; to build and maintain the UK as the best market in the world for companies to do business in nuclear power; and to create and support a globally competitive UK supply chain, focusing on high value added activities to take advantage of the UK and worldwide nuclear programme. OND brings together the Government teams and resources focused on facilitating new nuclear investment in the UK and providing industry with a single point of contact.

The Office of Climate Change is now part of DECC but retains the capacity to undertake cross-cutting projects and is funded by contributing Departments across Whitehall.

The Sustainable Development Commission is an independent adviser to Government on sustainable development. Its role has not been affected by the creation of DECC and my Department will continue to benefit from its advice.

Departmental Public Appointments

Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what information his Department holds on the number of persons appointed to executive positions in bodies for which his Department has responsibility who previously had careers in the banking industry. [261243]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: Responsibility for most recruitment is delegated to the Department’s different business units and as a consequence there is no central record of persons with previous careers in the banking industry. To compile such a record would incur a disproportionate cost for the Department.

Departmental Reorganisation

Greg Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change by what date he expects all of his Department’s staff to be based in his Department’s offices. [266620]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: The first phase of moves of DECC staff into 3 Whitehall Place (the Department’s London office) is currently under way. Planning for the second phase is currently under way and it is not yet possible to specify a date for the completion of the moves but it is expected to be during the summer. DECC staff are already in residence in Atholl House, the Department’s Scottish office.

Departmental Responsibilities

Greg Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change for what public service agreements his Department has responsibility. [266602]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: The Department of Energy and Climate Change has responsibility for public service agreement 27—Lead the global effort to avoid dangerous climate change.


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Energy Supply

Mr. Kidney: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change if he will bring forward a programme of measures to provide security of supply of energy in the UK during the period 2010 to 2030. [266144]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: Government works to ensure there is a stable regulatory framework within which the private sector can invest to deliver secure and reliable energy supplies. Government action to ensure security of supply includes: reform of the planning and consents regime, promoting energy efficiency, creating the necessary framework to facilitate a diverse mix of low carbon sources of supply, and promoting liberalised energy markets globally.

Energy: Research

Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what his Department’s research and development budget in support of research into clean energy is in the next 12 months. [255178]

Mr. Lammy: I have been asked to reply.

The Department for Innovation Universities and Skills (DIUS) provides funding to the Technology Strategy Board and the Research Councils to support research and development.

The Research Councils’ planned expenditure on energy research and related training is expected to exceed £300 million over the period 2008-11.

The Technology Strategy Board has a current portfolio of 76 collaborative projects (worth ca £140 million) on emerging low carbon energy technologies. Following two recent calls in Carbon Abatement Technologies and Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Technologies, further funding will be committed in the next 12 months. It is also expanding its portfolio in areas relating to the low carbon agenda through a range of initiatives including Innovation Platforms—one focused on Low Carbon Vehicles is coordinating over £100 million of public sector support to accelerate the market introduction of ultra low carbon vehicles.

In addition, DIUS has committed to provide up to £50 million pa (through the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and Technology Strategy Board) to the Energy Technologies Institute (ETI), to be matched by industry partners. ETI is establishing a portfolio of development projects in low carbon energy technologies.

The Department of Energy and Climate Change also provides some funding through the Environmental Transformation Fund (ETF) for clean energy research. The annual budget for the ETF and its component programmes, including the Carbon Trust, will be agreed in due course.

Forests: Carbon Emissions

Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how much funding he has allocated to reduce levels of deforestation for the purposes of reducing levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere in each of the next 10 years. [265821]


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Joan Ruddock: The Climate talks in Bali in December 2007 recognised that reduced emissions from deforestation and degradation (REDD) should be part of a post-2012 climate deal. The Bali Action Plan paves the way for the development of incentives to reduce emissions from both wholesale deforestation and more gradual damage, and to consider how to reward the sustainable management of forests ahead of the 15(th) Conference of the Parties in Copenhagen in 2009.

We are negotiating options for financing with our partners in the run up to the Copenhagen agreement. The EU recognised at the Spring Council (19-20 March 2009) that significant domestic and external sources of finance, both private and public, will be required to finance mitigation and adaptation actions, particularly in the most vulnerable developing countries. The UK, as part of the European Union, will take on its fair share of financing such actions in developing countries, and is examining credible and innovative options for raising significant volumes of finance. The European Council will discuss these issues in more detail at its June meeting, following further consultation with other developed and developing countries.

However, in advance of internationally agreed mechanisms, it is necessary to test approaches and build capacity in developing countries. At the climate change negotiations in Poznan last December the UK announced up to £100 million to support such work. This is in addition to a £15 million contribution to the World Bank Forest Carbon Partnership Facility which assists developing countries in working out how they can participate in and benefit from evolving incentive mechanisms for avoided deforestation. The UK has also committed £60 million to help reduce deforestation and poverty in the Congo Basin. The Congo Basin Forest Fund, launched in June 2008, will support transformative and innovative proposals from the countries of the Congo Basin and civil society to slow the rate of deforestation.

Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what consideration he has given to the merits of establishing schemes for forest protection as a measure of reducing levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere before (a) 2012, (b) 2020 and (c) 2030. [265852]

Joan Ruddock: The Climate talks in Bali in December 2007 recognised that reduced emissions from deforestation and degradation (REDD) should be part of a post-2012 climate deal. The Bali Action Plan paves the way for the development of incentives to reduce emissions from both wholesale deforestation and more gradual damage, and to consider how to reward the sustainable management of forests ahead of the 15(th) Conference of the Parties in Copenhagen in 2009.

We know that reducing deforestation will be expensive; available estimates suggest it will cost in the range of £10 billion to £20 billion a year to halve deforestation by 2030. But the evidence also suggests that the benefits of reducing deforestation will be many times greater than the costs. The Poznan Forestry Statement made in December last year agreed that:


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